If I understand right, those 2 are imperative forms of the verb to come. What are the differences?


Japanese has many levels of politeness etc. and therefore very many ways to make requests.

Here are some in order of politeness.

こい! = Come!
来て = Come.
来てくれ = Do me the favor of coming.
来てください = Please come.
来てくれませんか = Could you please do me the favor of coming.

  • 3
    And... 「来てくれ。」 sounds a bit more masculine than 「来て。」, don't you think? Girls/women tend to use 来て over 来てくれ in casual conversation, no?
    – Chocolate
    May 12 '17 at 4:14
  • @Chocolate I suppose men do use it slightly more. Although 来てくれ,seems slightly more polite on paper, it kind of sounds more condescending to me. May 12 '17 at 4:27
  • How would 来てください、来て and 来てくれませんか be sorted on that list? I know this isn't simple because of feminine and masculine speech but I was just looking at this answer that says 見て is short for 見てください
    – siikamiika
    May 12 '17 at 4:43
  • @siikamiika I edited my answer for you. You can see ください as being a "please". It is much more polite than 来て but it is still sort of an order so not nearly as polite as 来てくれませんか which is in the form of a question. May 12 '17 at 4:46

This くれ etymologically comes from 呉れる "to give (something to me)." So 来てくれ literally means "give (me) a visit" or something like that.

来て is merely the imperative form of 来る. (sorry, but it's precisely a 連用形 of 来る. this one is the only カ行変格活用verb...)

But in reality both have very little or no difference in meaning or politeness level.

  • 1
    来て ... it's precisely a 連用形 of 来る. <- I think the 連用形 of 来る is [来]{き}, and the て is a 接続助詞...
    – Chocolate
    May 12 '17 at 4:12

The くれます from くれ indicates the other person is doing you a favour. But as くれ is in imperative form, the command is direct, perhaps even abrupt. 来て seems softer to me because it's using the て form to say 'Come', which is softer than the imperative form こい (Come!).

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